I have three children. Three boys, three brothers. They are close in age, less than four years separates them. They are the biological children of my husband and I. I say that only to point out that their genetic make up comes from the same source. I see my husband and I in each of them. I see little parts of each in the other.
And yet, each of my boys is so uniquely themselves. Their personalities established long ago. One of my boys is a momma's boy in the best sense of the word. He adores me and wants to be with me a lot, more than the others do. He loves to start his morning with cuddles in my bed. One of my boys is quiet, an introvert. He would spend hours looking at puzzle books or laying in bed thinking if his brothers left him alone. He does not like kisses but if I sit next to him on the couch long enough our bodies will slowly move closer and closer until we are touching. My oldest is becoming more independent, more a young man, filling his world with friends and activities. But he still wants to end his day with a kiss from his mom and dad.
My three boys experience me differently. They need me to love and interact with them differently and I do. I have learned how to connect with each of my boys on their terms. I do not change, the essence of me is the same, but each has a unique understanding of who I am based on our unique relationship. They see me through the lenses of their interactions with me. I imagine how they would describe me. So much of who I think I am would be left out because they don't have access to that part of me.
One of my boys needs less of me - less time - less connection.
Do I want more? Yes.
But is that who he is?
What he needs? No.
He is made uniquely himself.
I think about how we relate to God, our Father. How often do I assume that other people connect to God the same way I do? How often do I let other's experiences of God affect how I try to relate to God.
I often feel awkward in rooms when people have strong emotional experiences with God. I feel like I am missing out. Am I too unfeeling? Do I not love God enough?
I am beginning to realize that I am me. And God and I relate in our own way. I am not my brothers or sisters. I don't have to compare my relationship with God to theirs. I see God through the filter that is my life, through my emotional needs, and my interactions with God. He does not change, but He does show up in my life the way I need Him to and that may look very different than how He shows up in someone else's life.
I don't have to wonder who is God's favorite.
Because we all know that parents don't have favorites. We love all our children. We just love them in different ways, depending on their needs and who they are.
(Don't tell God's other kids, but I know I'm His favorite.)